Friday, October 4, 2013

Free Beginning Farming/Ranching Course in Oklahoma

Some of you in the southwestern part of the state might be interested in this.

The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture is training new Oklahoma-area farmers and ranchers from the ground up, with a free course in sustainable farming or ranching.

The third year of the Oklahoma Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program (OKBFRP) is set to begin in February.  The course is open to beginning farmers and ranchers - anyone with between zero and ten years of experience in agriculture.

Applications for the limited places in the course are due by November 15.  Applications are available on the Kerr Center's website or by calling the center at 918.647.9123.

The course consists of five Saturday training workshops. Participants choose to follow either a livestock or horticulture track.

Tuition, course materials, and even lunch are all supplied free of charge.

Students will attend workshops either at the Kerr Center's Farm and Ranch near Poteau, OK, or at the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI) office in Okmulgee, OK. Prospective students can specify their preferred location when they fill out the application.

Trainees should plan to attend every workshop in their track, including the first orientation and planning class on February 1, either at Poteau or Okmulgee.

The horticulture sessions then meet in March, May, and July; the livestock sessions in March, April, and June. The wrap-up class and graduation for both tracks will be held in August.

The classes will be a mix of classroom instruction and time out in the field, with a focus on real-life problem-solving and hands-on skills.

Workshops will include presentations, discussions, and demonstrations of important techniques and equipment.

Students attending in Okmulgee will be connected via webinar to Poteau for presentations. MFSI will coordinate the hands-on activities for the Okmulgee location.

For each session, the center also provides resources for students to take home. (See beginning farmer course materials page to view 2013 resources.)

Complete course information is available at the Kerr Center website or by calling or emailing the Kerr Center at 918.647.9123 or

Additional partners in the Oklahoma Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program are the Rural Smallholders Association, the Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers Association, and OSU Extension.

This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-49400-30525 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


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